The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
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How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings—and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
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Being a feminist means believing that every woman should be able to use her voice and pursue her potential, and that women and men should all work together to take down the barriers and end the biases that still hold women back.
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“Do you want to know why I use contraceptives?” Then she held up her baby and said, “Because I want to bring every good thing to this child before I have another.”
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“To be known without being loved is terrifying. To be loved without being known has no power to change us. But to be deeply known and deeply loved transforms us.”
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I’ve never held the view that women are better than men, or that the best way to improve the world is for women to gain more power than men. I think male dominance is harmful to society because any dominance is harmful: It means society is governed by a false hierarchy where power and opportunity are awarded according to gender, age, wealth, and privilege—not according to skill, effort, talent, or accomplishments.
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And the starting point for human improvement is empathy. Everything flows from that. Empathy allows for listening, and listening leads to understanding. That’s how we gain a common base of knowledge. When people can’t agree, it’s often because there is no empathy, no sense of shared experience. If you feel what others feel, you’re more likely to see what they see. Then you can understand one another. Then you can move to the honest and respectful exchange of ideas that is the mark of a successful partnership. That’s the source of progress.
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“Melinda, if you remember only one thing I’ve told you, remember that you have to go to the people on the margins.”